So apparently I never actually managed to write my review of this one. Not sure how that happened considering I even met Ally Condie at a signing!! I can be such a space cadet sometimes.
Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander's face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is her ideal mate... until she sees Ky Markham's face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black.
The Society tells her it's a glitch, a rare malfunction, and that she should focus on the happy life she's destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can't stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love, Cassia begins to doubt the Society's infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she's known and a path that no one else has dared to follow.
Cassia has always been a wonderful citizen. Not a rebellious bone in her body, she finds she prefers the ordered life that the Society provides for her to any alternative they might devise. That's why she finds herself utterly shocked when her faith begins to waiver. Despite trying her very best to be and do just as she is supposed to, she can't get over the feeling that Ky is her real match.
Down the spiral she teeters as she dares to do things that are beyond her normal, straight-laced life. Needless to say she's terrified of what it all means, but at the same time thrilled by the experiences she is having outside of the Society's ordered little world. Or is it really outside the Society's plan?
Matched is lush & poetic, but reminiscent of many other books of the same genre. There was (and still kind of is) a huge upswing in dystopic fiction at the time this was written, so I think I may have overloaded myself with this specific type of book. The mise en scene is one that we are very familiar with, you just have to figure out what "rules" belong to this "society" rather than the ones you finally figured out for the other book. As they go, this one was a bit more bland & less harsh than I have become accustomed to expect, which was refreshing.
The love triangle aspect of the book predominately the storyline, while using the setting as a catalyst for change. It was a bit slow at some points, but I felt that the action really picked up towards the end, leading me to believe that the second book with hit the ground running. I think my favorite aspect of this was the character interaction. Not only was the dialogue unique, but the societal parameters & expectations were quirky as well.
All in all this was an alright novel. While it doesn't make my top 10 dystopian novels list, but I think it still does warrant a read for any fan of the genre. How did you find Matched?